Bimini, Bahamas –Independent Maritime Services (IMS), a leader in the Marine Pilotage sector of the local Maritime Industry, has over the past five years expanded its work with private ferries and five-star cruise liners. The company’s core group of government-licensed marine pilots recently teamed up with the famed Virgin Voyages group – owned and operated by world-renowned businessman Richard Branson – to prepare the company’s newly commissioned vessel: The Scarlet Lady, for its official launch. 

March 10th, 2020 the M/V Scarlet Lady made her maiden voyage to North Bimini Resorts World Pier.  The vessel was safely escorted into port by Captain Kendall Williamson and Captain Kashii Thompson of Independent Maritime Services Ltd t/a Bimini Pilots assisting the Bridge team of Captain Marco Carsjens. Armed with the support of the Ministry of Transport, the Harbour Authority and the Port Controller, IMS was engaged to make sure the new mega Virgin cruise liner entered the island safely with no damage to Bimini’s seabeds.

“Our experience working with the IMS Bahamas team so far has been really good” noted Marco Carsjens, Captain of The Scarlet Lady, one of three ships being built for 2.55 billion dollars. “We’ve had a chance to meet with the pilots, the first-hand local knowledge they have provided has been an invaluable asset in helping us solidify the plans that we’ve created for our arrival and disembarkation.”

This summer, Virgin Voyages expects to formally launch its private Bimini beach experience for thousands of cruise enthusiasts and will do so under the guidance of the IMS Bahamas. The Scarlet Lady vessel, which was recently completed and delivered on February 14, 2020,  is the flagship of the virgin voyages brand and will in the coming months make the island of Bimini a major port of call for its passengers. 

“We’re very excited to be working alongside the Virgin Voyages team,” noted IMS President, Kendall Williamson. “We understand the impact that a brand of this kind can have in the continued development of the maritime industry in The Bahamas and we’re looking forward to partnering with them in their efforts to provide superior services to cruise passengers who visit our shores.”With more than 80 years of collective experience in the field, Independent Maritime Services Bahamas (IMS) leads the way in the provision of marine pilotage services at ports of call around the country. For more than five years, the Grand Bahama based company has provided pilotage services in addition to a slew of other maritime industry services from Lightering to Launch and Port Services to vessels in Abaco, Acklins, Exuma and of course Bimini.  To learn more about IMS visit their website at

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